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Karen Bingham Pape


Every day things

The illicit rooster
Crows down the block—
It is winter, displeasing—
But he is dutiful
If not kind. My cat
Foregoes birds—
The flocks of transients
Too much—he prefers
His hunt bird by bird.
I am bathed in light,
Working—the sounds
Of urbanized nature,
The hum of engines,
the bare branches
at my back.


Midnight Souls

When midnight darkens my soul, all hope
Seems barren, somehow lost, I cry out
To a clockwork’s God, railing His scope
So narrow, so unforgiving—my loutish

Heart won’t let me let Him in. Instead
He is my enemy, not my dearest friend.
The bleakest hours come when in a crowd
When loneliness can’t recognize common

Souls in pain. In the funeral of life
We lose our way, letting the dirges
Play, forgetting ourselves a higher way
To dance the dance of grief, then leave

It all behind, forgiving ourselves, loving
God with open souls and outstretched hands.




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